While the food at State Fairs and the like is pretty much uniformly bad, in my experience the food a small town festivals often has one or two gems in among the extensive offerings of things like deep-fried apricot on a stick.
For instance, today we were at the Patterson, CA Apricot Festival flying our balloon. After the flight, we're always hungry. The first stop was the Blues Cafe (see my posting on the California board for details) for iced coffees. Then on to cruise the "dining" area of the festival, where we found two worthy samplings--sausage on roll from the Lockford Sausage Company, and fresh lemonade. The sausage was grilled over mesquite charcoal, to perfection. It had that great "snap" when you bite into it. The lemonade was simplicity itself--lemon juice (squeezed on the spot), half a lemon, sugar, ice, & water, all shaken together, like mixing a cocktail; perfect for a hot day.
I can see I'm going to have to make a pilgrimage to the Lockford Sausage Co. one of these days; when I do I'll send thoughts along to the CA board.
The other great thing about this festival is that the Lions club has a chicken BBQ that is totally fab--the chicken is perfect, and the beans with linguisa can't be beat. The pre-mixed salad, the cheap fluffy white rolls, & the half-pint boxes of milk that hve been sitting in the sun are, of course, terrible.sitting in the sun are, of cours